There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of chili during the winter months! Usually, I make turkey chili, but since my mom wants to eat less meat, I figured I would test out a vegetarian variation. Turns out, we both loved this healthy vegetarian chili recipe!
Chili is a perfect recipe that you can add more salt to, depending on your needs. But, as I said in my post about increasing your salt intake, most people need to limit their sodium. So when you make this (or any recipe, really), refrain from sprinkling extra salt over the chili until you’ve served your own bowl. That way, you won’t make everyone else who eats this hypertensive after!
Additionally, I put two different types of beans in this healthy vegetarian chili recipe–kidney and black–to give it a nice hearty texture. I think this is super important in a vegetarian dish! You still want to feel like you’re eating a filling meal, so you’re not rummaging through your snack cabinet before bed. This recipe definitely satisfied my appetite even though I’ll admit I was a tad worried without my go-to turkey protein source.
Also, the celery gave it a nice crunch in every bite. Is it just me, or does crunchy food satisfy your hunger more?
If you like hot and spicy chili that’ll have you sweating and crying–er, excuse me, suffering from “allergies”–then you probably won’t like this recipe as is. It has some spiciness, but it’s a mild heat. Feel free to add another dash of each spice, some red pepper flakes, or even a splash of your favorite hot sauce if that’s your style.
2 celery stalks
1 red bell pepper
½ Vidalia onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes (or regular–I prefer small tomato chunks)
2-3 tbsp tomato paste (thicken to preference)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt (add more to your own bowl when serving)
2 cups of water
1. Chop up all your veggies. Strain and rinse the beans. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.
2. Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and onion to the pan and cook for 10 minutes to soften.
3. Add the garlic, salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika. Stir (and sniff the good smells) for 1-2 minutes.
4. Toss in the canned tomatoes, beans, water, bay leaf, and 2 tbsp of tomato paste. Let it simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add another tbsp of tomato paste during the last 15 minutes of cooking if chili needs to thicken more.
5. Serve over a bed of brown or white rice (I used brown) and shake, shake, shake your salt shaker to meet your taste tolerance and dietary needs.
Voila! Grab your slippers, wrap up in a cozy blanket, and curl up on the couch with a bowl of this yummy meatless chili. You’ll be warm in no time!
Excuse me while I nom, nom, nom…
Comment below if you try this healthy vegetarian chili recipe, and let me know how you like it! Check out my kale & white bean soup recipe next; it’s another recipe you can both make in bulk and easily add more salt to.
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